Fantasy Football Start/Sit: Week 8

After this week we will officially be halfway through the 2016-2017 NFL season. I’m in 4 leagues & my records are 3-4, 5-2, 6-1, & 2-5. This is around the time of year in fantasy football where people start deciding what leagues they want to focus on & they throw the other ones to the wayside. For me I don’t do that because once 1 person becomes inactive it ruins it for everybody. It’s kind of like when you were in elementary school & there would be that one kid who does something bad & the whole class gets in trouble for it & can’t go out for recess. Don’t be that guy. All my decisions are based on PPR scoring.

Top Performers in Week 7:

Davante Adams (WR, Packers): 38 points

Melvin Gordon (RB, Chargers): 35 points

Andrew Luck (QB, Colts): 33 points

QBs to start in Week 8:

Jameis Winston (vs. Raiders): Winston is coming off a nice performance against the 49ers in Week 7 putting up 26 points. Winston now has 3 weeks of scoring 26+ points. I see another 25+ point performance from Winston this week against a weak Raiders secondary & the Buccaneers may need to throw to keep up with the high powered Raiders offense. The Raiders have allowed the 5th most fantasy points to opposing QBs so that definitely favors Winston this week. Winston is a QB1 this week with the favorable matchup.

Russell Wilson (vs. Saints): I know Wilson has struggled mightily this season (this is coming from a Wilson owner) & only put up 10 points in Week 7. Wilson this season has been a non-threat in the running game with his injuries he’s had & has only scored over 15 points once this season (30 in Week 4 vs. Jets). If there’s any week Wilson performs well in it’s this week right? Right? Pretty please with a cherry on top? Wilson is playing a horrid Saints secondary this week & the Saints have given up the 12th most points to opposing QBs this season. I’m still kind of nervous playing Wilson even with a very favorable matchup.

Kirk Cousins (vs. Bengals): Cousins has played pretty well this season & has actually scored 20+ fantasy points in 5 out of the 7 games he’s played this season. Cousins is coming off a 23 point performance in Week 7 where he threw a touchdown & ran one in against the Lions. This week Cousins plays the Bengals who have given up the 4th most fantasy points to opposing QBs so Cousins could possibly be in for another 20+ week.

My Star QB of the Week: Aaron Rodgers (vs. Falcons): The Packers seem to be figuring some things out offensively. The Packers are using Ty Montgomery as their RB & that helps Aaron Rodgers immensely in the passing game. Rodgers had a 29 point outing in Week 7 against the Bears & this week he goes against the defense who’s given up the 3rd most points to QBs. The Falcons. I see Rodgers possibly having his best game this season this week.

Under the Radar QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. Browns): I’m not saying you should go out of your way to start Fitzpatrick but if you absolutely need to pick up someone & start them, Fitz might not be a bad choice this week. It has been a roller coaster for Fitzpatrick this season being benched for Geno Smith in Week 7 & then Geno gets hurt & Fitz stepped in against the Ravens to win the game. After the game he talked about he felt the ownership has lost confidence in him & so has the coaching staff so he’s obviously pissed so we’ll see if that helps him rebound this season.

QBs to sit in Week 8:

Dak Prescott (vs. Eagles): Prescott has been nothing short of amazing this season as a 4th round pick out of Mississippi State. Prescott has led the Cowboys to a 5-1 record & has the Cowboys sitting atop the NFC East. This week Prescott will be tested by a tough Eagles defense that has allowed the least amount of points to opposing QBs. I’m not saying Prescott is going to struggle or anything but I do think there’s better QBs to play this week.

Philip Rivers (vs. Broncos): Rivers has been an alright fantasy QB this season scoring 22+ points in 3 out of the 7 games he’s played in. The last time Rivers played the Broncos (which was in Week 6) he only had 13 fantasy points & I don’t see him doing much better this time around. It also doesn’t help that the game will be held in Denver & Denver has allowed the 4th least amount of points to opposing QBs.

RBs to start in Week 8: 

Devontae Booker (vs. Chargers): Booker has been the backup all season to C.J Anderson but in Week 7 Booker out touched Anderson 18-16. C.J Anderson also has a knee injury that most people believe will cause him to miss multiple weeks. Booker has looked very explosive in the touches he’s gotten & he looked very good in Week 7 where he had 17 carries for 83 yards & 1 touchdown. This week he plays the Chargers who have allowed the 7th most points to opposing RBs so this could be a big first start for Booker.

Jeremy Hill (vs. Redskins): Hill seems to be a hit or miss RB this season but he is coming off a 26 point outing in Week 7. Hill is sharing the workload with Giovanni Bernard but Hill seems to be the bruising back while Bernard is the change of pace/receiving back. Both guys seem to be solid fantasy plays especially in favorable matchups. Hill plays the Redskins this week who have given up the 8th most points to opposing RBs.

Christine Michael (vs. Saints): The Seahawks offense has looked putrid this season & I believe the way Seahawks can improve their offense is: RUN THE BALL MORE. In Week 7 the Seahawks played in one of the worst games I’ve ever watched on Sunday Night Football. The game ended 6-6 but the Seahawks threw the ball 37 times & only ran the ball with Michael 16 times. The Seahawks need to get back to Seattle football where their run game sets up their passing game. This week would be a good week to run the ball because they play the Saints who have allowed the 4th most points to RBs.

My Star RB of the Week: Spencer Ware (vs. Colts): It seems the Chiefs have found their identity as an offense & it is a run heavy one riding on Ware’s shoulders. Ware has scored 20+ points in back to back weeks even with Jamaal Charles being back from injury. Ware doesn’t seem to just be a rushing threat either with Ware getting 15 receptions for 285 yards & 1 touchdown in the passing game. Ware this week plays the Colts who have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL & a Colts team that has given up the 3rd most points to opposing RBs which seems like a recipe for success for a guy who’s on a hot streak right now.

Under the Radar RB: Jacquizz Rodgers (vs. Raiders): This is all based on the fact I don’t believe Doug Martin will be back this week & it’s unknown when he will. Rodgers has done a good job the last 2 games filling in for injured RBs Doug Martin & Charles Sims. Rodgers has rushed for 100+ yards in both games & rushed for 154 yards on 26 carries against the 49ers in Week 7 so they are willing to give him a huge workload. I believe the Bucs might be down in this game but even if they are forced to throw the ball Rodgers is a capable receiver out of the backfield. Raiders have allowed the 9th most points to RBs.

RBs to sit in Week 8: 

Ryan Matthews (vs. Cowboys): Matthews hasn’t been that good this season. He has yet to rush for more than 77 yards & hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 2. Matthews has always had injury & fumbling issues so that doesn’t help his case. This week Matthews is going up against an underrated defense in the Cowboys who have only allowed 2 touchdowns to RBs. I’m absolutely sitting Matthews this week unless you absolutely have to start him in deeper leagues.

Jordan Howard (vs. Vikings): It officially seems like Howard has lost full control of the Bears backfield & was actually out touched by Ka’Deem Carey 11-7 in Thursday’s night loss to the Packers in Week 7. At best this might be a 50/50 split but it went the wrong way for Howard in Week 7. With Jay Cutler coming back there might be less opportunities to run the ball 7 it doesn’t help they play a tough Vikings team that has allowed the 5th least points to opposing RBs.

WRs to start in Week 8: 

Brandon Marshall (vs. Browns): With Ryan Fitzpatrick back as the starting QB it does nothing but raise Marshall’s stock up. Marshall has only gotten 2 touchdowns this season 7 has only had more than 100 yards twice but this week he plays against the pitiful Browns. The Browns have allowed the 4th most points to opposing WRs & have given up 10 touchdowns to WRs. Marshall might be in for his best game of the season on Sunday.

Deandre Hopkins (vs. Lions): It’s kind of sad at this point in the season I have to tell you to start Hopkins. It’s nothing against Hopkins though he’s still one of the best WRs in the NFL but his QB Brock Osweiler looks awful & has struggled to get the ball to Hopkins. Hopkins is actually 7th in the NFL in targets but is tied 17th in receptions with 36 (Tavon Austin & Michael Thomas also have 36 catches). If there’s a week he can bounce back, I mean finally bounce back it’s this week against a weak Lions defense that’s allowed the 6th most points to opposing WRs.

Terrelle Pryor (vs. Jets): Pryor has been one of the only bright spots on a dreadful Browns team. This week it seems like Pryor will have Josh McCown back at QB so that helps him a lot. Pryor has had Cody Kessler & Kevin Hogan as his QBs but no offense to them they’re arguably not serviceable QBs in the NFL. With McCown back Pryor could see a nice game especially against a Jets team that has allowed the 3rd most points to WRs.

My Star WR of the Week: Mike Evans (vs. Raiders): Evans has had a great season this year. Evans is currently 3rd in targets so they’re obviously trying to get him the ball & Evans is the 5th best fantasy WR right now. The injury to Vincent Jackson helps Mike Evans because the Bucs don’t have any other viable WR threats so they might throw Evans the ball 50 times a game. Ok, they might not do that but he will see the ball a lot in this offense. This week Evans plays the Raiders who have given up the 7th most points to opposing WRs & with the Bucs most likely being behind in this game they’ll have to air it out.

Under the Radar WR: Stefon Diggs (vs. Bears): Diggs hasn’t been fantasy relevant since his 33 point performance in Week 2. He’s been injured but I believe he’s still the most talented WR on the Vikings offense. I look Bradford having a much better week after he struggled in Week 7 against the Eagles. This week Diggs goes up against the Bears who have allowed the most points to opposing WRs & a Bears team that just allowed 3 WRs to get 10+ receptions in Week 7.

WRs to sit in Week 8:

Alshon Jeffery (vs. Vikings): The news of Jay Cutler really benefits Jeffery going forward besides this week. Jeffery has yet to reach the end zone this season & I don’t see that changing against the Vikings who have only given up 3 touchdowns to WRs. The Bears may need to throw more to keep up with the Vikings this week which could be a good thing but it could also be really bad with Cutler at the helm.

All Chargers WRs (vs. Broncos): I don’t like any of the Chargers WRs this week whether it be Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin, or even Dontrelle Inman (in deeper leagues you might have him, maybe???). None of these guys has solidified themselves as the number one guy but if I had to pick one I like the rest of the season it’s Williams. In the past 3 weeks Williams has outscored Benjamin 48-29 & has outscored Benjamin 93-84 this season. This week I’m not starting them unless it’s in deeper leagues because they play the Broncos who have only allowed 1 touchdown to WRs this season.

Jeremy Maclin (vs. Colts): Maclin being a disappointment is an understatement. Maclin has only scored 1 touchdown which came in Week 1 & has only scored more than 10 points 3 out of the 6 games he’s played in this season. The Chiefs also seem to be an absolute run first offense so that doesn’t help Maclin. The Colts have actually allowed the 7th least amount of points to WRs probably because of the return of Vontae Davis a few weeks ago so Maclin is an absolute sit this week.

TEs to start in Week 8:

Cameron Brate (vs. Raiders): The Buccaneers are going to need a 2nd option for Jameis Winston to throw to with Vincent Jackson being out for the season & that just might be Brate. He hasn’t done much fantasy wise but that might start to change this week especially against the Raiders who have allowed the 5th most points to opposing TEs. Bucs are also most likely going to have to throw a lot to keep up with the Raiders so that helps Brate.

Travis Kelce (vs. Colts): Kelce is the only receiving threat I like in this Chiefs offense. Alex Smith has always seemed to look Kelce’s way more than anyone else. Kelce has also been pretty quiet this season especially of late where he’s scored just 10 points the last 2 weeks. This week he plays the Colts who have given up the 6th most points to TEs this season.

My Star TE of the Week: Rob Gronkowski (vs. Bills): Will Gronk ever not be my star TE of the week? Probably not but for a good reason. With Brady back Gronk looks like his dominate self scoring 63 points the last 3 weeks. As a TE. The dude’s a monster. I don’t care the Bills have only allowed the 3rd least points to TEs this season & have yet to give up a touchdown to a TE. They haven’t played Gronk healthy & with Brady yet so Bills might been in for a long day.

Under the Radar TE: Gary Barnidge (vs. Jets): Barnidge has quietly been one of the most consistent TEs this season. In the past 6 weeks he has caught 3+ passes & has gotten 50+ yards too. The only thing is that he’s yet to score a touchdown this year but that could come against the Jets especially with Josh McCown being back. The Jets have allowed the 8th most points to TEs this season.

TEs to sit in Week 8:

Coby Fleener (vs. Seahawks): Fleener this year has been the definition of hit or miss. Fleener has scored 20+ points twice this year but every other week he’s scored 6 or less points. The Saints are at home this week which is good for Drew Brees but they play a tough Seattle defense. If Kam Chancellor comes back this week that makes it even worse for Fleener.

Jason Witten (vs. Eagles): Witten has always been one of the most reliable TEs in the NFL. I kind of look at Witten as the “Frank Gore of TEs”. The Cowboys are playing the Eagles this week & with Dez Bryant likely back I believe Witten will see less targets. The Eagles also aren’t a bad defense & have allowed the 4th least amount of points to opposing TEs & have only given up 1 touchdown to TEs.

DEF/STs to start in Week 8:

Tennessee Titans (vs. Jaguars): The Titans will be facing the Jaguars on Thursday night. The Jaguars have struggled in every facet of their offense. Blake Bortles looks terrible, they don’t use T.J Yeldon enough (in my opinion), & Allen Robinson/Allen Hurns are struggling as well. The Titans are a great streaming defense this week especially if your defense is on a bye or has a bad matchup.

New England Patriots (vs. Bills): The Patriots are rolling right now & I think their defense has been overlooked because of how good their offense has been. The Bills are most likely going to be without LeSean McCoy in this game so that helps the Patriots. If McCoy doesn’t play Mike Gillislee will start at RB who has looked pretty good but he isn’t LeSean McCoy. Who is? With the Patriots offense being able to control the ball the Bills will most likely have to throw it & once you become one sided the Patriots can shut your offense down.

DEF/STs to sit in Week 8:

Green Bay Packers (vs. Falcons): The Packers defense has actually played pretty well this season. They’ve gotten a few injuries in their secondary the past few weeks so that doesn’t help when you’re going up against Julio Jones. This game is probably going to be a shootout between Aaron Rodgers & Matt Ryan so I see a lot of points being put up so I wouldn’t start the Packers defense this week.

Buffalo Bills (vs. Patriots): Do I need to explain this one? Yes, the Bills defense has played great the past few games but this week they go up against some guy named Tom Brady. Rex Ryan always has his eyes set on the Patriots but this game might get ugly, real fast. I don’t care what defense it is I’m not starting them against the Patriots offense with Tom Brady & Rob Gronkowski this year.